Russian Cybercrime Suspect Alexander Vinnik Pleads Partially Guilty, Faces Reduced Prison Term

Alexander Vinnik Alexander Vinnik

Alexander Vinnik, a Russian figure suspected of cybercrime, apprehended in Greece in 2017, convicted of money laundering in France in 2020, and presently awaiting trial in California, has reportedly entered a partial guilty plea, as per his lawyer cited by TASS news agency on Saturday.

Arkady Bukh, Vinnik's lawyer, disclosed that due to this plea agreement, Vinnik anticipates a prison sentence of under 10 years. "He admitted guilt on select charges," TASS quoted Bukh, who also highlighted that Vinnik was facing a potential life sentence. "The outcome of negotiations resulted in a deal with the prosecutor's office. We anticipate the sentence to be within 10 years."

Accused of laundering over $4 billion through Bitcoin, Vinnik's arrest in Greece in 2017, at the behest of the United States, sparked international legal battles, with Moscow persistently urging his repatriation.

After being extradited to France from Greece, where he received a five-year sentence for money laundering, Vinnik was subsequently returned to Greece before being transferred to the United States in 2022.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Vinnik is purportedly linked to BTC-e, described as a significant cybercrime and online money laundering platform, facilitating Bitcoin transactions with high levels of anonymity, catering extensively to criminal clientele.

Vinnik faces a potential maximum sentence of 55 years in prison for the charges brought forth by the United States, as per the U.S. Department of Justice website.

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